Each year as we visit families to assess their need for Educational Assistance we also encounter a few with special needs that could be helped with a small amount of assistance.
This year we met 11 year-old Hung, along with his parents and two young siblings. Hung was born profoundly disabled. His whole body is affected and he seems to be unaware of anything going on around him. He can only eat pureed food and suffers from incontinence. He requires round-the-clock care.
Hung’s family lives under the poverty line. Their situation is made more difficult by Hung’s father’s own health problems. He suffers from serious back pain caused by a degenerative spine disease. This severely limits his ability to work. The family’s only valuable asset is a small field. Hung’s mother tends this field and also works as a day laborer to earn money to feed the family.
At present, the family receives the government’s disability allowance of VND 875,000 (about US$39) per month, but this is not enough to take care of Hung’s daily needs. The family also does not have enough to bring him to the central hospital for regular medical examinations and treatment.
Lying in one place causes other issues for Hung, like bed sores. We would like to support the family by providing a water mattress for him to rest on to reduce such sores. The cost is about $62.
We would also like to supply diapers for him each month. This will improve not only his quality of life but the quality of life of the whole family who live in a very small house with two rooms and shared beds. The cost for these diapers would be about $20 per month.